tv Inside Washington PBS August 1, 2010 5:00pm-5:30pm PST
>> production assistance for "inside washington" was provided by allbritton communications and "politico," reporting on the legislative, executive, and political arena. >> it is entirely possible that within days, weeks, people will be killed as a result of this kind of exposure. >> this week on "inside washington," thousands of leads and classified documents laid bare the war in afghanistan house democrats balked the president on the board. >> i cannot look my constituents in the eye and say that this operation will hurt our enemies more than it hurts us. i will reluctantly vote no. >> the case against charlie
rangel. a federal judge gets arizona postern new immigration law -- guts a result's new immigration law. and how about this view? >> i am trying to find a show that michelle actually watched. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- >> as we all know, the internet has changed the world, and depending on your point of view, not always for the better. consider the case of wikileaks, a network run by volunteers and more than a dozen countries. wikileaks this week released more than 92,000 classified documents, much of the material what data. -- much of the material what data. wikileaks founder, a former hacker named julian assange, compared himself to daniel
ellsberg, who released the pentagon papers during the vietnam war. what is your take, colby? >> he is no daniel ellsberg. what he did was just a dump of classified material. i think people are going to lose their lives because of it. just as the chief of staff mullen said. this going to cost some lives. >> what is your take, mike? >> the government tends to cry wolf over this thing, but this time they are right the response was slow, that this was old news, but as the week went on, they realize the danger to afghan informants whose names are now out there. the mainstream media was very responsible. "the new york times" went to the west wing before they printed it t, just as colby's paper,
"the washington post," which will probably win a pulitzer for the "top secret america series." >> jeanne? >> there could be more to come, but the initial review of fighting the names of the afghan sources may cause wikileaks to mps to scrutinize the last batch, 15,000 more but -- to at least scrutinize the last batch, 50,000 more records. it is pretty bad when you have both the u.s. and afghanistan's military operations all decrying what has happened, because there is no way they can get to these informants because they are scattered about the country in remote areas and we don't have manpower to go to them. >> charles? >> the obvious intent was to influence public opinion, and the head of wikileaks is a guy
who is openly anti war, and that is why he did it. there is nothing in there that will sway opinion. it also that pakistan's secret service has played a double get -- it tells us that pakistan's secret service has played a double game in. we know that it tells us that there have been civilian casualties. we know that. the chronology of the dumps is from the mid-decade to 2009. if it were not for petraeus, and mcchrystal, and obama recommending a different course. all it does is name names and people will be killed. >> marine general james mattis, about to be confirmed as the new head of central command. >> i just thought it was an appallingly irresponsible act to release this information. it did not tell us anything i've seen so far that we were not
aware of it. i have seen the big revelations. mr. assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good. he thinks he and his -- >> mr. assange can say whatever he likes about the pretty good he and his sources say they are doing, but the truth is that already have the blood on their hands of a soldier or an afghan family. >> admiral mike mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs. julian assange told "the today show," "everyday people are killed in afghanistan and that number is increasing, so we cannot let revealing names eclipsed the bigger problem." that is what the military would call collateral damage. >> this is and it is for the president to explain what is being done in afghanistan -- this is an impetus for the president to explain what is being done in afghanistan. amazingly, he is not given awards be since december 1. on -- he has not given date war
speeches since december 1. on monday, he would give a speech on iraq. he needs to be doing a ratatatat. in the case with a strong instead of defensive. -- in that case he would look at strong instead of defensive. >> this week 102 democrats voted against the war funding bill. that sends a very powerful signal -- it should -- to the white house, that support within their own party is eroding rapidly. the president needs to do something to shore up that as well. >> for american troops, the deadliest month of the board. >> i was critical of the president when he went before the congressional black caucus earlier in the year and did not talk about afghanistan. he gave a big speech about health care. he did the same thing with the national urban league. he needs to go to his face and tell them why the commander-in-
chief is doing what he's doing -- he needs to go to his base and tell them why he as commander in chief is doing what he is doing. he just cannot rely on people who support the board to stay with him. >> but it is more than a question of politics. it is a question of honor. if you are commander-in-chief and you have just sent 30,000 new troops into battle, you are responsible for making the case. there is a sense the country has and afghans have that the president is half-hearted about this. he has not made a speech. he is obviously much more interested in the domestic agenda. the speech he gave in which he announced the surge, december 1 at west point, he announced the surge and then the next sentence he gives the time of withdrawal. if you are an afghan and you are unsophisticated in the ways of washington and you don't understand that perhaps it is a way to keep his base quiet, what you hear is that america is
leaving and the bad guys are here and when i get information to the americans, if they aren't going to be gone, they will slaughter my family. -- if they are going to be gone, they will slaughter my family. >> drug use going through the roof, domestic abuse up 177%. no way that can help you. >> and all-volunteer army, fighting on two fronts, troops committed on two fronts. constantly redeployed. there is the key to their. we all know that -- there is fatigue there. we all know that. the president needs to come back to our national security position and how the country get behind him. he is not doing it. >> with the case of former house ways and means committee
chairman charlie rangel this week. >> the chips will have to for -- have to fall where they may politically, but all holding the highest ethical standards is of highest priority for us. >> democrat charlie rangel is accused of improperly trying to solicit donations and a number of other things. what is the fallout on this politically? >> house leadership is very unhappy, and they miscalculated they thought they would be able to push charlie rangel into taking a deal. the ethics committee wanted him to apologize. they said, ", charlie, you are not going to hold the gavel again. we'd like you, but we're not going to give up our seats." he waited too long. now during august, house republicans have a very specific plans, building a culture of corruption.
against the democrats, including advertisements and mailings, doing exactly what was done to them. >> republican members of the committee would have accepted the negotiated settlement. charlie rangel should have taken it. i understand why the republicans may want to be on this issue and try to string it out on the necks of democrats -- stranded around the necks of democrats. i don't think it can be as effective as the attacks against them were in 2006 and 2008, in part because there is not a series of corruption cases that i like this that they can try to -- that are like this that they can try to knit together into the argument of culture of corruption. a lot of democrats have given the money back and a few of them have called for his resignation. there may be more people who call for his resignation. there may be more pressure to accept some kind of agreement, but it will not be as good a deal, as mike mentioned.
they don't need any more weight -- >> what they really need to avoid is the trial, a public trial. that is where charlie rangel still has room to give them relief. he could accept a deal before the trial takes place. if the trial starts, it will be a dog and pony show. >> he could try to renegotiate. egotiating up to the last minute before the charges came he would not accept it. >> why do you think he did not accept it? >> it is very unclear why he did not accept it, especially, as mike says, it was a pretty fair deal. going back to when speaker gingrich was in trouble, we were walking in the door for the trial to begin when the deal was cut. it is not unusual that they try
to stringpiece things out until the very end agreed -- string of these things out until the very end. >> he is hard not to like, but i tried to parse these statements. the ones about accepting the perks as you get to be a chairman and your acquire power, you get a life style and you push perks over the edge. it seems like what he really would not accept a bit into was the idea that he might have sold -- his sold -- he would -- it seems like what he would really not accept admitting to was the idea that he might have sold his office. the alleged return for a break in taxes the would've help a company. it seems that he is a proud guy might admit -- who might lead to oversights in the tax stuff, but that might imply corruption. i suspect that is where he will not, at least up to now, add it
to wrongdoing. on the other stuff, he might have. >> how much mileage to republicans get out of this? >> a lot of mileage out of the trial. at this point i am not sure if they can get that much mileage but if he cuts a deal before the trial, that is as much as they will get. >> i agree. a trial would make a dramatic tv story every night. but we have not had a trial since traffic and a long time ago. >> if there is a trial, this could look really, really ugly, because it includes not paying taxes on rent from a villa in the caribbean. >> villa is the word that is the killer here. who has of bill? -- who has a villa? if it were a cottage, it would
be ok. [laughter] >> it is a bump in the road. we knew that regardless of what happened today, one side or the other side was going to appeal. >> arizona governor jan brewer reacting to federal judge susan bolton's decision striking down the segments of the immigration law. immigration is a big issue, jeanne. >> absolutely, and john mccain is fighting for his life in his own primary. a couple of years ago, he did try to carry the water for president bush and passed a major reform bill and was terribly criticized for doing so by his own party. one of the reasons he is having the primary fight. he has already moved. what is interesting is how this now goes into so many other places. why wasn't arizona political fight is now likely to become -- what was an arizona political fight is now likely to become an
issue in many other states, which are considering legislation that will put it into the debate in georgia and across the country. >> the obama administration argues that this is a federal issue. deportation is not left to the states. >> in both parties, the face a sophie's choice on this. the american people are on the side of arizona by heavy margin, 2/3. this certainly includes republicans, but a sign of what politics is -- a vote in the house where republicans voted against compensation for people at ground zero, because they wanted to set up a vote so that democrats would have to vote to exempt illegal aliens. nobody wanted to take that vote. >> how do you a vote against compensation for first responders? i guess for a lot of people, 9/11 is aged history. >> you are exactly right.
democrats, liberals will say that this the time that republicans took obstruction too far. republicans will step back and say, well, we were going to pay for that with the corporate tax increase and making it more abstract. >> you cannot go into court and aregue that this is a federal responsibility and that the states should get out and then do nothing about the policy. at the national level, they cannot get immigration legislation through congress. >> you don't need immigration legislation, and new laws, to enforce the existing laws. that is the conservative argument against all of this. i am for amnesty when the government shuts the border. once you have done that -- israel has done for the fence it has constructed -- once you've done that, there will be a national consensus, a very
generous and humane to the 11 million illegal aliens who are here today. in the absence of that, you will get another 11 million. you have got to give a sense that the federal government is serious and that there is no sense whatsoever -- >> there should be a sense of that, because the obama administration has been more aggressive in conducting audits and in deporting illegal aliens and then the bush administration by a long shot. >> enforcement is irrelevant. it is stopping -- >> it is not irrelevant. you are talking about enforcing federal law, and they are enforcing -- >> they are not building a fence. on the low-tech stuff, that are not doing anything of the sort. it would be very easy for democrats to adopt that as an issue and then speak for comprehensive reform. >> this white house does not
want immigration legislation. they like talking about immigration, but it is clear that when they talk about it, they benefit and republicans are hurt because it makes them look at small. but the last thing they want is to pass a bill that could be construed as amnesty going into a tough election. >> everybody looks wrong on this debate, everybody. >> have you ever watched us? >> of course. >> no kidding. >> this is the second time i have been on now. >> that does not mean you have to watch. >> you are running, and now for you are as president -- now here you are as president. >> i believe this is a first, president appearing on a daytime talk show. he has not done a prime-time news conference in a long time. is this good politics? >> of course. there are people they want to
reach two or nine new studies, people junkies -- who are not news junkies, table techies but that is why he is on jay leno, filling out the n.c.a.a. bracket. >> they all do this. richard nixon went on "laugh in ," "sock it to me, baby." bill clinton went on "arsenio hall." i think it helps them in little bit. >> it helps them a little bit but he needs a lot of help. this white house and their message machine that was so vaunted during the campaign has been a miserable failure for the last several months, as evidenced by every public opinion poll that is out there. his poll numbers are just tanking each time somebody goes out into the field. now they are putting him out there and trying to reverse
those numbers, trying to prop up his image while he also does this summary thing for the political season. we will see if it will work. he reassured house members and senators that they could take these tough votes because he and his popularity would bail them out in the midterm. well, he and his popularity have not shown up. >> correct answer is is not going to help him. charm helps you if you are a challenger and nobody knows who you are and you are running to be the president. it helped him and he won. but second time around, it is not about how charming you are, it is about how competent you are. we already know he is a charming guy, but he has had trouble in terms of competence, at least as the electorate looks at it, on the question of unemployment and all of these other screw ups and the white house, and larger issues abroad. look, he will get perhaps a two- hour bump on this but the needle
is not going to move. smiles are not going to help you. >> when you peel back the president's message, it is things could be worse, and that is not a good message. he is going to be out -- he is doing the gm and chrysler plants, the ford plant, and at the same time, he's doing intense political trouble, raising money, including his own party in chicago where $30,000 to say happy birthday to the president . >> that comes with the turf. but he has things to talk about. he has this health-care bill, he has the financial reforms, he can talk about how they saved the auto industry, and iran, a
possible successful policy there, as somebody alleged on this panel. >> wasn't that nice of him? >> i think it was a lovely gesture. i am not sure how to respond. look, but he has got a problem. he has had remarkable accomplishments ideologically and, if you want, historically paid health care is going to change our country unless it is repealed, which i don't think it is going to be. financial reform, a trillion- dollar stimulus. the problem is that today, the electorate is not happy with any of those three. financial reform is probably negative, but health care is -- financial reform is probably neutral, but health care is negative and the stimulus is positively toxic. people on that eating the dog
food. they don't like it. >> they are looking for new ways to talk about the accomplishments. speaker pelosi told "politico" in an interesting interview that they are telling people to not talk about wall street reform, but consumer protections, and not talk about health reform, but to talk about a patient a's bill of rights. republicans at the same time are going out and they want to reignite the passions of last august's town halls. they are giving people marching orders to include pushing back about the obama -- about obama being week with our allies. >> how does the president's fund-raising differ from bill clinton's? >> dramatically different it where they are similar is being democratic presidents and their big names and stars who attended the events. they attract the kind of folks to the fund raisers. beyond that, they are not similar at all. clearly, president clinton used
the white house and the grounds and the rooms and bedrooms -- >> including the lincoln bedroom. >> to raise money. obama has been so far away from that sort of thing that is bumblers -- hiuss bundllersers,s big fund-raisers are basically mia, because they got no gratitude. obama does not do any of that, as a result, some of the biggest donors from the last cycle for the democratic party are not participating anymore. >> at some point, does the president cut david axelrod and some other people in the west wing loose to do what they did in 2008? >> i think next year he will see it some people leaving the white house and joining campaign
staff. they cannot stay inside. they will have to go out there. i think axelrod will probably go out and take on a major campaign. >> new voices in the white house -- it is surprising that this white house duplicated one of the most obvious mistakes of the bush machinery, how insular it was. this white house has become the semi, partially because of the esprit they all have for from being in chicago together. they've not gotten the outside voices and the skepticism that they need. >> there is a fundamental issue. he won as a man of charisma. he is a very charismatic candidate. in a sense, giving a sense of promise that could never achieve to be opposed to racial, not possible in america to -- day.
never achieve to be post-racial, not possible in america today. i think he is operating under difficult circumstances where he came in as this rock star and now he is president and house to run at the store. running the store is not a charismatic operation. >> democrats to have one of the weapon out there, -- to have one other or another, bill clinton, who is more popular than obama and bush. >> not on the ballot. >> last word. thank you. for a transcript of this broadcast, log on to insidewashington.tv. readyñññ